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It is not coronavirus killing camels in Kenya: Official

Hundreds of camels killed by bacterial infection not strain of coronavirus, says director of Veterinary Services

Andrew Wasike   | 05.08.2020
It is not coronavirus killing camels in Kenya: Official file photo

NAIROBI, Kenya 

A mysterious ailment that has been killing hundreds of camels in northeastern Kenya for months was caused by a bacteria infection, not by coronavirus as earlier reported, according to local media.

In a statement on Wednesday, Director of Veterinary Services Charles Ochodo said that the camels died of a bacterial infection (mannheimia haemolytica) which causes respiratory illness in livestock and subsequent death if not treated on time, the DailyNation reported.

“Surveillance reports indicate that a respiratory syndrome characterized by nasal discharge, coughing, and difficulty in breathing followed by death was affecting young camels. The DVS can confirm that the disease causing illness and deaths in camels in northern Kenyan is not Mers-CoV,” he was quoted by the DailyNation as saying.

It also reported that the most affected are young camels below two years.

Earlier this month, health officials in Marsabit county of northern Kenya told reporters the strain of coronavirus claimed the lives of over 200 camels but poses no major risk to humans.

Bonaya Racha, a local chief who represents the government in the area, said at the time that: “Over 200 camels have died here in Marsabit alone, our camels have had a terrible cough, their two lymph nodes are swelling and after some few days they die.”

CORRECTION: In an earlier report titled "Kenya: New coronavirus strain kills hundreds of camels" Anadolu Agency has mistakenly carried false information that a new strain of coronavirus was responsible for the death of tens of camels. We are canceling that earlier report and publishing the above news story in its stead.  

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